Iran Travel Guide: Get delightfully lost in the bazaars!
Iran as old as history itself inherits one of the most ancient civilizations of the planet. Throughout the years, its culture has influenced different parts of the globe from the Nile River to the heart of Europe. For many years, people from all over the world have traveled the historic trade route of Silk Road, marveling at the varied glory of the Persian Empire's great civilization.
To visit Iran is a unique experience, the experience of being in the cradle of a great culture and civilization. Boasting three millennia of recorded history, Iran enjoys a great legacy of ruins and hallowed stonework. The Iranian style of architecture is distinctive and creative. Persepolis and the rare impressive edifices of Isfahan as well as the Air Traps of the central desert region are the hallmarks of the Iranian unique architecture. If you simply want to walk in the footsteps of some history's most outstanding figures, this historic land is blessed with some of the best.
Along with its splendid history and culture, Iran is a diverse land and has a great variety of geographical environment which offers a sense of paradise for all of the nature lovers. Iran's climatic diversity is such that some tourists can enjoy winter sports in the mountains while others can bathe in the warm waters of the southern shores, both within a few hours drive from the main cities. If you are lucky enough to fly into Iran, be sure to ask for a window seat, you might be surprised by what you see.
The most noticeable highlight of Iran is its people; Iranians are well known to be warm and amiable. Travelers continuously recount tales of unexpected kindnesses, of hands extended in friendship, of the gregarious, hospitable and generous Iranians.
What is universal in Iranian character is the enjoyment of the cadences of poetry read aloud, their wonderful food, and their admiration of natural beauty. It could be said that Iran is a nation of poets and poetry is still venerated to this day. Art is the permanent gift that Iranians have given to the history of the world.
Have the time of your life in this ancient land, get delightfully lost in the bazaar in Shiraz, Kerman and Kashan, drink tea in the courtyard of a traditional Chaykhune (teahouse) or join the crowds for an evening stroll in Tabriz. In the process, you will come to appreciate the atmosphere that makes Iran so distinctive. So pack your bags and soak up the history, the subtle cultural shifts and the hospitability.
Official Name: the Islamic Republic of Iran
Former Name: Persia
Government: Islamic Republic
Capital City: Tehran
Major Cities: Karaj, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz
Population: Over Seventy Million
Official Currency: Iranian Rial (IRR)
Official Language: Persian (Farsi)
Official Religion: Islam
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +3.5
International Calling Code: +98
Internet TLD: .ir
A large country strategically located in the Middle East region, between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea; Iran is situated both in the northern hemisphere and east of Greenwich meridian on 25-40 degree lat and 43-63 degree long .
It is bordered by Iraq to the west, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to the northwest, Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the southeast.
Tehran, the capital city of Iran, is located on the slopes of the Alborz Mountains at an elevation of about 1210 m (about 3960 ft) in northern Iran. It sits at the foot of the magnificent Mount Damavand Mt. the tallest mountain in Iran.
The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,000 sq km (land: 1.636 million sq km, water: 12,000 sq km), Iran is slightly larger than Alaska and about the size of United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany combined.